On spray formation

P.G.M. Marmottant, E. Villermaux

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We depict and analyse the successive steps of atomization of a liquid jet when a fast gas stream blows parallel to its surface. Experiments performed with various liquids in a fast air flow show that the liquid destabilization proceeds from a two-stage mechanism: a shear instability first forms waves on the liquid. The transient acceleration experienced by the liquid suggests that a Rayleigh–Taylor type of instability is triggered at the wave crests, producing liquid ligaments which further stretch in the air stream and break into droplets.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)73-111
Number of pages39
JournalJournal of fluid mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • IR-50097
  • METIS-223341

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